As I write this title my initial impression is that it seems pretty obvious. By learning we gain knowledge, experience and understanding. We grow as people. But it’s so much more than that! As we grow we impact other people, and the world, too. We grow as families. As communities. As businesses. As societies. As a planet.
Learning new things allows us to expand our minds with new concepts and ideas, world events, changes in society and scientific breakthroughs. We find motivation in the positive accomplishments of others. We may even discover the missing piece needed to accomplish a challenging goal.
However, we may become disheartened or possibly enraged by new knowledge. The joy comes from how we respond to it. We always have a choice. Perhaps we change perspective or become motivated and compelled to take action, write a letter to a congressperson, start a fundraiser or organization to increase awareness, help a friend (or stranger) in need, create art to express our feelings, or speak out on the topic.
We all learn differently. Some of us are readers, others learn by listening, watching, doing or any combination of all the ways. However we learn, we open our minds to other world views and compassion for others in their successes and hardships. Being able to view life events through the perspectives of others and those different from us help us to expand and grow as a person.
Learning also allows us to improve the quality of our lives. Perhaps we learn a new sport or hobby, stress management strategies or dietary changes that help us improve our overall health, or delve deeper into our spiritual practice to support getting to know ourselves better or living in a more positive direction. Learning impacts our minds, body and spirit, as well as those of others.
As I have gained knowledge during my lifetime, my interests have shifted and changed. Through that process I have learned more about myself, health and wellness, spirituality, and being true to myself. Looking back I see that with each new nugget of knowledge I gain, my life always adjusts course. Sometimes slightly, other times significantly.
One way my own life has shifted is in how I interact with other people. I have always had compassion for others. After all, I became a psychologist. But, after some significant emotional life experiences I developed a deeper and broader compassion for myself, individuals, groups, humanity and the Universe. This compassion drives my feelings, decisions and actions. Sometimes this makes my day easier. Sometimes it becomes more challenging.
From there my interactions with others have helped at least some of them shift, adjust or grow for the better too. Not everyone, that’s for sure! Once in a while connections strain or even break. This outcome creates an ongoing cycle which reaches more and more people like an ever-expanding web, just like it does for you. My overall hope is that by the end of my life I have impacted the world for the better.
As we expand and grow we travel further along our path of life. These new learning experiences give us the opportunity to gain the most out of our lives. Each new piece of knowledge and experience brings us to the next. What awaits YOU next?
Learn something new. Live your best life. Spread the joy!